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4-cylinder full-size vans?

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What do you guys think about Mercedes offering relatively “small” 2.0L 4-cylinder gas turbo engines in Sprinters, and might it lead to Ford and RAM doing the same?

The Ford 2.3L EcoBoost makes more power and low-end torque than the standard naturally-aspirated 3.5L V6, so engine downsizing limitations may be more about something other than performance. Perhaps durability, greater fuel consumption or emissions? I don’t know. Or could it simply be that Ford marketing knows buyers are not ready for gas 4-cylinder full-size vans regardless of power?
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engine downsizing limitations may be more about something other than performance. Perhaps durability, greater fuel consumption or emissions? I don’t know.
I don't know either but suspect cost and weight are a big part of this movement towards smaller displacement. Americans are enamored with performance numbers, so a smaller engine with impressive HP/Torque numbers will likely not turn buyers off. We have already seen the Transit replace the E-Series, a 3.5L top engine replacing 6.8L V10 or 7.5L V8s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Mercedes just cancelled the gas motor in the Sprinter. I would think a modern 4 cylinder turbo makes sense in a lot of van applications myself though. The GM 2.7 turbo 4 I drove felt great in a truck.
I have only seen that AWD Sprinter is not available with gas engine, but nothing about it being cancelled. Where did you see this news?

Interesting you mention GM 2.7L Turbo, because Car and Driver tested 1/2-ton 4X4 pickup on their 75 MPH highway loop and found 5.3L V8 achieved higher MPG than 4-cylinder turbo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't know either but suspect cost and weight are a big part of this movement towards smaller displacement.
Mercedes developed inline-sixes to replace V6s, and I expect the Sprinter V6 diesel may have been phased out along with others. If so, and if I-6 is too long for short Sprinter engine compartment, they would have no option but go with an in-line-four. For city traffic and slower highway driving, that’s probably a good thing anyway.
 

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After speaking with Mercedes the dealers have confirmed that the smaller engine is to meet the ever moving goal posts of engine exhaust emission. in theory a small and efficient inline 4 coupled to an improved 9 speed transmission instead of the current 7 speed could offer the equivalent horse power and torque of the current setup.

But in the long run, the thought of a 3500 high roof extended sprinter running on an in-line 4, 2 liter diesel that requires two inline turbos to achieve the necessary power is going to lead to frequent stealership visits after the 100k warranty expires.

anyways that’s just my thoughts as a marine engineer with 20 years experience…… probably best to leave the reasons that dictate these changes to the tree hugger loving politicians.
 

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What do you guys think about Mercedes offering relatively “small” 2.0L 4-cylinder gas turbo engines in Sprinters, and might it lead to Ford and RAM doing the same?

The Ford 2.3L EcoBoost makes more power and low-end torque than the standard naturally-aspirated 3.5L V6, so engine downsizing limitations may be more about something other than performance. Perhaps durability, greater fuel consumption or emissions? I don’t know. Or could it simply be that Ford marketing knows buyers are not ready for gas 4-cylinder full-size vans regardless of power?
that's a big load for a small motor. the reviews I've read seem to think it's adequate. either way, it's a pollution-control-packed diesel that I'm sure will be high maintenance. like all the modern types of diesel running def.
 

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I saw the article today about the '23 Sprinters. 4cyl engine, but 6cyl for the AWD. Is this for Merkuh? I would assume the 2.0l would just be for the rest of the world, and Merkuh would get a bigger engine, or the 6cyl would be the only option. The inline 5 turbo in my '03 was a great engine (OM612), 2.7l, 154HP/243lb-ft, and could achieve between 25-30mpg (diesel).

I would like to think the car companies would match or compete at performance rather than displacement. If the 2.0l Mercedes gets (imaginary rounded numbers) 200hp and 250lb-ft and achieves 25mpg, Ford et al would try to match those numbers, even if it requires a larger displacement engine. I would hope. And if they can do it with 2.0l, so be it. Remember, fleet buyers are the major customer, and fleets can save a LOT of money with a better mpg van, as long as it isn't in the shop all the time. There are a lot of anecdotes about a 5.0l or bigger 8cyl being mpg efficient at cruising speeds, and obviously would have the HP and torque to get to those cruising speeds, as well as being durable.

I've linked to the Ecoboost and Duratec wikipedia pages before. There's even a 2.0l ecoboost that has more power than the 3.7 and now 3.5 duratec engines in the Transit. And maybe a 1.6l. More HP and torque. With almost half the displacement, you'd think it would get better mpg, but it's not directly relative.

I keep whining about a Transit hybrid drivetrain that would feature electric drive and a small ecoboost range-extender gas engine (charges the batteries, doesn't connect to driveline). I think even the 3cyl 1.0l would be fine for that. It doesn't sound like Ford is interested in offering a hybrid Transit, probably because the full EV mandates for a lot of areas will be in effect in 12-20 years. Really, they could just use existing components and put something together to offer next year without much effort if they wanted. Maybe we'll see some people making their own like that guy did with his Tesla.

articles discussed:
 

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I keep whining about a Transit hybrid drivetrain that would feature electric drive and a small ecoboost range-extender gas engine (charges the batteries, doesn't connect to driveline). I think even the 3cyl 1.0l would be fine for that. It doesn't sound like Ford is interested in offering a hybrid Transit, probably because the full EV mandates for a lot of areas will be in effect in 12-20 years. Really, they could just use existing components and put something together to offer next year without much effort if they wanted. Maybe we'll see some people making their own like that guy did with his Tesla.
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I appreciate the issues with the true electric drive-train and accompanying generator - it's a lot of complexity - but I really love the premise. I think it would be the best of all worlds for many vehicles - especially those on long-hauls but even more-so on heavy stuff like our rigs. I only wish...
 

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I appreciate the issues with the true electric drive-train and accompanying generator - it's a lot of complexity - but I really love the premise. I think it would be the best of all worlds for many vehicles - especially those on long-hauls but even more-so on heavy stuff like our rigs. I only wish...
Bolt or the Cadillac ELR version have the technology. BMW has also built cars with it.
 

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Yeah... you mean Volt, though, right? Gone. Pretty sure that tech will remain the realm of freight trains...
Yea, that's it! Still some interesting new hybrids coming to market Who would have ever thought of a 200hp Prius thats till gets 50+ mpg? Hybrid will be the performance engine in the next gen Accord. So I suppose anything is still possible. Interesting time. Hoping my next sedan is still an ICE with a MT. Old habits die hard.
 

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Yea, that's it! Still some interesting new hybrids coming to market Who would have ever thought of a 200hp Prius thats till gets 50+ mpg? Hybrid will be the performance engine in the next gen Accord. So I suppose anything is still possible. Interesting time. Hoping my next sedan is still an ICE with a MT. Old habits die hard.
Formula One cars are hybrid, right? Top end Ferraris and the like. For sure hybrid for the high-power stuff. But that series-hybrid is the one I wish they'd kept doing.
 

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I have driven several late model Mercedes with that engine - they put it in about everything. It has decent hp and torque at fairly low revs but relies on the transmission to be in the right gear, if not it is gutless. In a small car like the A class it is not an issue but anything bigger results in a delay - step on the gas, downshifts, then go. It's not turbo lag but results in the same experience.

I found the delay to be borderline unsafe when you need some power right now. Maybe it is better with a 9 speed but I bet the problem still exists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I saw the article today about the '23 Sprinters. 4cyl engine, but 6cyl for the AWD. Is this for Merkuh? I would assume the 2.0l would just be for the rest of the world, and Merkuh would get a bigger engine, or the 6cyl would be the only option.
The 6-cylinder diesel was dropped for 2023 Model Year, and only 4-cylinder engines remain. There are two 4-cylinder diesel engine variants; the standard with less power than the cancelled V6 diesel, and a high-output variant with more power than the previous V6.

There is also a gas (gasoline) 2.0L 4-cylinder turbo engine with same power as previous V6 diesel, but with less torque. This is the engine I mostly asked about. Data below is for Sprinter gasoline 2.0L 4-cylinder.

Ford has a brand new 2.3L 4-cylinder turbo gasoline engine (EcoBoost) that should make more power and torque than Mercedes V6 diesel that was phased out. In Mustang it should make over 300 HP and over 300 lb-ft, so could be derated considerably for van use and still match Sprinter power.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mercedes just cancelled the gas motor in the Sprinter.
Thanks, I see it now. Motor Trend mentions that present gasoline engine will be discontinued after 2023 Model Year. It doesn't say whether another gasoline engine will take its place. That part is not clear.

I recall that the gas engine is somehow tied to another manufacturer (Nissan maybe) and that it was being replaced with newer design. It would seem a mistake for Mercedes to drop gasoline engine entirely for Sprinter given recent diesel reputation. Some buyers just don’t want diesel at all due to higher costs. They cost more to buy, service, and now more to fuel also.
 

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I don't know either but suspect cost and weight are a big part of this movement towards smaller displacement. Americans are enamored with performance numbers, so a smaller engine with impressive HP/Torque numbers will likely not turn buyers off. We have already seen the Transit replace the E-Series, a 3.5L top engine replacing 6.8L V10 or 7.5L V8s.
The Transit hasn't been a perfect replacement for the E-Series. While the EcoBoost has impressive numbers, it will never be able to tow the numbers seen with a V-10 E-350, and the GVWR is also significantly lower. The E-series chassis are still used for motorhome conversions that the Transit just can't do. And there is something to be said for the longevity and low maintenance of a large V8 pushrod motor.
 

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Thanks, I see it now. Motor Trend mentions that present gasoline engine will be discontinued after 2023 Model Year. It doesn't say whether another gasoline engine will take its place. That part is not clear.

I recall that the gas engine is somehow tied to another manufacturer (Nissan maybe) and that it was being replaced with newer design. It would seem a mistake for Mercedes to drop gasoline engine entirely for Sprinter given recent diesel reputation. Some buyers just don’t want diesel at all due to higher costs. They cost more to buy, service, and now more to fuel also.

From what I have read the gas motor is being dropped since the Metris van is being dropped. It seems strange to me as well that MB would abandon the entire gas motor platform in their vans. People often talk about Van competition, like Transit versus Sprinter, but there really is no competition. If you want a diesel, you get a Sprinter. If you want gas you choose a Transit or Promaster. Each has their pros and cons. Transit is better finished, more power, taller interior and far more dealers, but the Promaster has FWD which for some is an advantage, and it has a wider interior with straighter walls which allows better use of interior space and can be had for less money.

I still can't understand why Mercedes used their least powerful gas motor in the Sprinter. If they dropped in a gas motor with hp and torque like an EcoBoost I bet they would gain more sales. They currently have a few gas motors with a mild hybrid drive that would seem perfect. I like the Sprinter, but the only thing keeping me away is the diesel. Based on current fuel pricing in my local area, it would take 21 years at 20,000 miles per year for the diesel to become 'cheaper' and that doesn't take into account DEF fluid, higher oil change costs, higher maintenance costs, etc. If the new HO Diesel can produce decent mpg numbers and improve reliability over the current emissions issues they may get an increase in sales.

That being said, the folks with a 4 cyl gas Sprinter and a 9G transmission love them.
 
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